Media Kit

Download the Erie Regional Airport Authority's Media Kit in PDF format

The purpose of this Media Kit is to provide information to news media organizations designed to facilitate news media coverage of the Erie International Airport, Tom Ridge Field.  Please visit the pages and documents linked below. 

If you need assistance with this media kit, please contact:  ERI Executive Director Chris Rodgers at 814-833-4258. 

Press releases are issued to describe changes in services, airport construction, notices to travelers, etc. A list of local newspapers and television and radio stations is used to send releases by fax and/or email. Please advise Mr. Rodgers if you would like to be placed on our distribution list or if your fax, email or telephone number changes.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Local Media Contact:

Phone 814-314-2003
Internet Resources
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Press Releases
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Newsroom

FACT SHEET

Passenger Airlines
Erie International Airport is served by four airlines with an average 19 daily scheduled nonstop flights to and from 5 major destinations.
Nearly 900 travelers pass through Erie International Airport each day.
More than 322,000 passengers traveled through Erie International Airport in 2006.
Takeoffs and landings in 2006 totaled more than 43,611 - an average of 120 a day.
In 2005 a record number of 187,848 people boarded passenger airplanes at Tom Ridge Field.
Erie Airlines generated over $50,000,000 in local ticket sales in 2005.

Cargo
More than 1,298,839 pounds of air cargo passed through Erie International Airport in 2006….that’s over 3,500 pounds per day!

Size
The airport is set on 415 acres at 733 feet above mean sea level.
The aircraft parking apron is approximately 22,000 square yards and is 14 inches thick.
There is one concourse and 7 gates in the passenger terminal building, including three passenger boarding bridges.

Airfield
The airport operates two runways: a 150-ft. wide – 6,505-ft. main East/West runway 6/24; and a 150-ft. wide – 3,530-ft. North/South runway 2/20.
The airfield has nine active taxiways.
There were 51 aircraft based at the airport in 2005.

Parking
The airport provides 923 public/employee parking spaces.

General Information
Erie International Airport, Tom Ridge Field is managed and operated by the Erie Regional Airport Authority. The Erie Regional Airport Authority Board is a nine-member body appointed by Erie City Council with responsibility for policy setting and general oversight of the airport, 4 additional members appointed by Erie County.
More than 270 people work at the airport, the majority being employed by airport tenants.
The airport has its own police, fire, and maintenance departments.
In 2004 the Erie Airport generated $241,064,500 of total economic impact to the Erie Region.
447 more total jobs were created in Erie in 2004 over 2003 due to record traffic growth.
Erie airfares declined 14.1%, or by $6,730,929 in 2004 over 2003.
The airport is financially self-supporting and requires no funding from property taxes, general funds, or special taxes.

ERI’s capital requirements are met through various sources including earned surpluses, revenue bonds, passenger facility charges, and grants under the federal Airport Improvement Program and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation state grant program. Operational requirements are met through rates and charges assessed to airport tenants and airport patrons for the use of airport services and facilities.

RULES AND POLICIES

Inquiries

It is the policy of the Erie Regional Airport Authority to cooperate with all media representatives and to make available timely, accurate and comprehensive information. The Authority will make every effort to work within media deadlines. Remember that ERAA does not represent the airlines or any other tenant of the airport.

News Releases

News releases are issued to describe changes in services, airport construction, notices to travelers, etc. A list of local newspapers and television and radio stations is used to send releases by fax and/or email. Please advise the Executive Director if you would like to be placed on the distribution list or if your email or fax number changes. New releases are also posted on the airport website.

News Conferences

When the Erie Regional Airport Authority has a major announcement that will affect travelers or would like to make the public aware of an issue of importance at the airport; a news conference may be called. Advance media advisories will be issued to alert media organizations of the upcoming event, and news releases and other materials will be provided at the event.

Interviews

All requests for interviews with the Erie Regional Airport Authority should be made in advance to the Information Desk at 814-833-4258. If you are interested in filming in a particular airline operation or other tenant operation or facility, you may be required to contact the airline/tenant directly to obtain approval. Inquiries about individual airlines should be made to the particular airline public affairs office. Please note: Security restrictions are critical to airport safety and will take top priority in every instance.

Airport Jurisdictions

Certain airport operations fall under the jurisdiction of different agencies operating at the airport. The news media should go through the appropriate agency public affairs office for interviews and information. If you are unsure as to which agency has jurisdiction over a particular issue, facility, or incident, you may contact the Executive Director for assistance.

Aircraft Operations/Air Traffic Control:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for air traffic control, airway navigation. FAA also has regulatory authority regarding certification and operation of the airport.
Airline/Aircraft Issues:

Individual airlines/aircraft operators are responsible for issues relating to that particular company, including labor issues, on-time performance, flight schedules, baggage issues, customer service performance, etc.

Airport Security:
The level of airport security is established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TSA is responsible for security screening of all passengers and all checked and carry-on luggage. TSA also has regulatory authority regarding airport and airline security. ERAA is responsible for law enforcement at the airport. Inquiries pertaining to passenger security should be directed to the TSA at 814-836-0261.
Airport Operations:

The ERAA is responsible for daily operation of the airport. Media inquiries pertaining to terminal and airfield operations, air service development, parking, construction, etc., should be directed to the Director of Strategic Development.

Airport Access

Erie International Airport’s passenger terminal is a public facility operated by the Erie Municipal Airport authority. News media may film or photograph publicly accessible areas without the permission of the Department of Aeronautics. As a courtesy, airport officials ask news organizations to notify the airport Information Desk at 814-833-4258 when a news crew/photographer is sent to film at the airport.

When filming at the airport, taking still photos, or conducting interviews, the news media are required to overtly display press identification. The news media may not leave equipment unattended or stage equipment or personnel in a manner that will block or restrict movement through major pathways, emergency escape routes or emergency exits. Likewise, no filming or conducting of interviews will be permitted to interfere with any airport or airline operations.

Please note:
Security restrictions are critical to airport safety and will take top priority in every instance. Unauthorized access to a restricted area of the airport will result in arrest and denial of future access.

Leased Areas

The areas leased by the airlines and other tenants are under the control of those entities, and news media access must be approved by the appropriate tenant. These areas include, but are not limited to, ticket counters and associated queuing areas, shops, restaurants, and aircraft hangars and associated areas.

Security Screening Areas

The security screening areas are operated by the Transportation Security Administration in space leased for that purpose. TSA policy prohibits filming or photography in the vicinity of these areas. Filming of the monitors that display items being screened and the wanding and pat down process is strictly prohibited. Filming or still photography is not permitted within 20 feet of any screening device at the airport.

Airfield

Airfield access is strictly controlled. Requests for filming in the aircraft movement areas will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Prior notification is essential to ensure adequate staffing exists to perform escort duties. Requests for access will be accommodated to the extent staffing and operational considerations permit. In the event of an emergency situation or other event that requires the full attention of the ERAA staff, a prearranged escort may be cancelled, with or without notice.

Police Incidents

If a criminal investigation is under way, coordination of news media activity will be the responsibility of the Director of Public Safety. The ERAA Police will control filming of crime scenes or other investigative events.

Parking and Live Feeds

News media personnel may park marked vehicles in the commercial vehicle lane or the VIP/Media lot. At no time may vehicles parked in the commercial vehicle lane be left unattended or impede traffic. If this occurs, the vehicle will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense. Personal vehicles must always be parked in the public parking lots.

If prior permission has been obtained from an authorized airport representative for parking in locations other than those mentioned above, vehicles may not be left unattended in those locations without express permission from authorized airport personnel.

The ERAA reserves the right to restrict news media activity at any location on airport premises if public security, safety, or operational concerns so warrant.

Emergencies

It is the policy of the Airport Authority to cooperate with the news media to the greatest extent possible. Our primary responsibilities, however, are safe, secure, and orderly airport operations. When there is an emergency situation at Erie International Airport that is expected to generate extensive news media attention, the following procedures will serve as guidelines:

  • Members of the Authority’s Executive staff will report to the airport. During normal business hours designated airport representative will be available to answer news media calls in the Authority’s administrative offices. Please note: The early hours of an emergency situation are spent responding to the emergency and calling in appropriate staff. If a situation is expected to require an escort for the news media to a site on the airfield, the news media will be advised to report to a media staging area. News media briefings may be scheduled in a designated briefing/coordination center.  Media should not expect access to an emergency scene during the first few hours (during initial process of saving lives).
  • A media room will be set up for dissemination of information as soon as it becomes available.
  • Briefings may be conducted by the Executive Director or other designated Authority staff member as the situation warrants. If an aircraft accident is involved, the National Transportation Safety Board investigating team will take charge of the investigation and the release of information relative to that investigation. In circumstances where only property damage occurs, the FAA may conduct the investigation. If possible criminal or terrorist activity is involved; the Federal Bureau of Investigation will take charge of the investigation and the release of information relative to that investigation.
  • Only members of recognized news media organizations with appropriate visible identification will be permitted in news media briefing areas and on the Air Operations Area (AOA) or transported to the scene of an emergency. The Incident Commander will determine whether news media will be escorted onto the AOA. At times, it may be necessary to pool media resources.
  • During an on-airport emergency, media aircraft/helicopter operators must request permission to enter the airport control area through the FAA Control Tower. Should any request be denied, the aircraft must remain outside the airport boundaries and at an altitude as directed by the FAA Control Tower. Med-evac helicopters will have highest priority.
  • Based on the nature of the situation at hand, the official in charge will determine any restrictions on the movement of media personnel that may be necessary to allow a safe and orderly response.
  • Photographs and video may be taken from any area where access has been permitted; however, Public Safety and Airport Operations personnel may restrict the use of flash, strobes, and other lighting that might affect the response to the situation.
  • The media must not restrict the public's access to gates, ticket counters, baggage areas, or other areas in the terminal.
  • While the Airport Authority recognizes the importance of interviewing passengers, the Authority will work to protect the right to privacy for passengers and their families. If any individual does not wish to be interviewed or photographed, the Airport Authority will support this decision. In addition, during an aircraft incident, access to passengers may be subject to approval by the involved airline or other authorized agencies.
  • Media representatives will not resist, obstruct, oppose, or interfere with any law enforcement officer in the lawful execution of his or her duties, and are not exempt from any federal, state, or local laws and, if arrested, will be treated in the same manner as any violator.
  • The Airport authority will make every effort to provide a working area for credentialed media.
  • During an emergency situation, the Authority will provide only the following information:
    • Date, time, and type of incident
    • Name of aircraft operator
    • Type of aircraft and flight number
    • Number of persons on board (if confirmed)
    • Runway affected
    • Impact on airport operations
    • Note: All other information must be obtained from the aircraft operator or the appropriate federal agency. Airport Authority staff will provide only information that has been confirmed/released by the airline, NTSB, FAA, or TSA.
  • In a non-aircraft emergency situation, the Executive Director will coordinate the release of information with the Director of Public Safety or Director of Operations & Facilities. ERAA Police are in charge of investigating traffic accidents and criminal activities on airport property.  Fire officials are responsible for fire and rescue and medical response operations.

Agencies Involved in Emergency Situations
Erie Regional Airport Authority:
The ERAA maintains operational control of the airport during aircraft emergency situations (i.e., determines extent of runway/facility closures, operational restrictions, etc.).
National Transportation Safety Board:

The NTSB and the FAA are the federal agencies that investigate aircraft accidents. They also take custody of the aircraft and its contents from the time fire/rescue activities are concluded until a full investigation is completed, or a release is given. The ERAA staff may assume a support role to the NTSB or the FAA at their request.

The NTSB also operates a Family Assistance program intended to assist family members of those involved in an aircraft incident. Family counseling, victim identification and forensic services, communicating with foreign governments, and translation services are among the services with which the federal government may help local authorities, the Red Cross and the airlines respond to a major aviation incident.

Federal Aviation Administration:
Various branches of the FAA have responsibilities in an aircraft emergency. The FAA operates the control tower at TRF and would control air traffic during an emergency to permit rescue equipment to proceed to the accident site. Once the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower initiates an alert at the airport, the Airport Operations division assumes control of the airfield until the emergency has concluded.

Airline/Aircraft Operator:
The involved airline/aircraft operator is responsible for providing information regarding passengers aboard the aircraft and any detailed information about the flight, crew, and the aircraft.

ERAA Airport Police:
The ERAA Airport Police are responsible for establishing and maintaining a security line at the incident site and ingress/egress points, and patrolling the airfield.
Erie Regional Airport Authority Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Unit (ARFF):
The ERAA ARFF unit is responsible for firefighting, rescue, and emergency medical response.

Federal Bureau of Investigation:
The FBI has jurisdiction if a hijacking or hostage-taking incident occurs aboard an aircraft that is still on the ground. If the aircraft is in flight, the TSA has jurisdiction.
Transportation Security Administration:
The FBI has jurisdiction in the event of an act of terrorism aboard an aircraft on the ground. If the aircraft is in flight, the TSA has jurisdiction.

Off-Airport Aviation Emergencies

In the event an aircraft accident occurs outside the airport boundaries, airport officials will assist and cooperate as much as possible. However, the municipality in charge will have jurisdiction over the accident area. In this case, the primary media contact is the aircraft owner and the information officer with jurisdiction over the accident area.

CATEGORIES OF EMERGENCIES

ERI classifies emergencies into the following categories:
Alerts 1, 2, and 3

Alert 1:

Indicates a problem with a small aircraft. (Mutual aid response is not requested.)

Alert 2:

Indicates a problem with a large aircraft. (Mutual aid fire and limited medical/police response involved.)

Alert 3:

Indicates a large aircraft has crashed on or near the airport, or a crash is imminent. (Full mutual aid fire and medical/police response requested.)

Small Aircraft:
An aircraft capable of carrying no more than 9 (nine) passengers. (This includes most general aviation aircraft.)

Large Aircraft:
An aircraft capable of carrying 10 (ten) or more passengers. (This includes all commercial airline aircraft, air cargo jet aircraft, and large corporate jets.)
Erie International Airport has standard responses to each alert condition. These responses may include mutual aid support from the City of Erie and surrounding municipal fire, police, and medical units.

Questions regarding a specific aircraft emergency, including aircraft type, number of passengers, nature of emergency, and flight information must be made to the:

  • Specific airline for commercial aircraft
  • Aircraft Owner/Operator for general aviation aircraft
  • Military for military aircraft

MEDIA FAQ

Q: The airport passenger terminal is a public facility. May the news media access the passenger terminal building, without notifying the Airport?
A: Yes. News media may film or photograph publicly accessible areas without the permission of the ERAA. As a courtesy, airport officials ask news organizations to notify the Airport Information Desk at 814-833-4258 when a news crew/photographer is sent to film at the airport.

Q: Is it OK for media to park at the passenger terminal curb front when covering a story?

A: No. The federal security guidelines in force since 9-11 allow only for active loading and unloading by airport visitors, and only authorized government and security vehicles may be parked at the drop-off and pick-up curbs -- and those vehicles must remain in specially marked areas. Media may use the commercial vehicle lane if the vehicle is attended or the VIP/Media parking lot if the vehicle is unattended.

Q: Will the ERAA validate parking for media vehicles?

A: No. Parking fees for all media vehicles are the responsibility of the vehicle owner/operator.

Q: Is escort by an airport representative or other authorized personnel necessary when media visit the airport?

A: Sometimes. The need for an escort will depend on the area to be accessed. It is always best to call ahead so that arrangements for an escort may be made if staffing is available.

Q: May news media go beyond the TSA checkpoint and into the gate areas of the terminal to cover stories?

A: Media may go beyond the TSA checkpoint only if escorted by a Public Safety Officer or other authorized personnel. Otherwise, only ticketed passengers may go beyond the checkpoint into the gate areas.

Q: Where should TV media go to set up live shots on airport premises?

A: The designated area for live shots is the commercial vehicle lane and VIP/Media parking lot. If there is a valid reason for media to request a different live shot location, that request will be considered. However, media should understand that a change in live shot location will be the rare exception rather than the rule. Also, safety and security of aircraft and passengers will always have the highest priority. If a TV station is seeking a special arrangement, such requests should be made at the earliest possible time.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS


AOA

- Air Operations Area

ARFF

- Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting

ATCT

- Air Traffic Control Tower

DHS

- Department of Homeland Security

DOT

- Department of Transportation

ERAA

- Erie Regional Airport Authority

ERI

- Airport Code for Erie International Airport

FAA

- Federal Aviation Administration

FBI

- Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBO

- Fixed Base Operator

NTSB

- National Transportation Safety Board

TRF

- Tom Ridge Field

TSA

- Transportation Security Administration

 

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